Carolinas HealthCare System
Spring 2012

Nationally Recognized Cancer Experts Join Levine Cancer Institute

“A CANCER INSTITUTE WITHOUT WALLS.” THIS IS THE PLEDGE OF CAROLINAS HealthCare System's (CHS) Levine Cancer Institute to the community—to bring world-class cancer care closer to home.

“The Institute is working to define the future of cancer care—where innovations in research and treatment are brought closer to home for patients to improve outcomes and quality of life,” says the Institute's President, Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD.

While there are many integral components to building a leading cancer program, one of the key pieces is being able to offer patients access to the latest research and treatment options. To help fulfill this mission, the Institute has brought on board several nationally recognized cancer experts.

Edward S. Kim, MD

Edward S. Kim, MDJoining the Institute from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is Edward S. Kim, MD, who will serve as chair of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology and Investigational Therapeutics. Dr. Kim is recognized as a national leader in molecular prognostication for lung cancer and specializes in thoracic oncology and head and neck cancers. In his previous role as professor and oncologist at MD Anderson, he also served as the center's principal investigator for Southwest Oncology Group, one of the largest of the National Cancer Institute-supported cancer clinical trials cooperative groups. Named a top physician by U.S. News & World Report, Dr. Kim received his medical degree from Northwestern University through the Honors Program in Medical Education. He completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, and a medical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson.

Dr. Kim's clinical trial experience will strengthen the robust clinical trials program currently in place at the Institute.

Edward A. Copelan, MD, FACP

Edward A. Copelan, MD, FACPEdward A. Copelan, MD, comes to the Institute from a leadership role at the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute and will serve as chair of the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders. His clinical specialties include leukemia, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes. Dr. Copelan will lead efforts to develop a 16-bed bone marrow transplant unit at CHS' Carolinas Medical Center to support Institute treatment options.

Named a top doctor by U.S. News & World Report; Best Doctors in America; and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., America's Top Doctors; Dr. Copelan received his medical degree with honors from Tufts University in Boston. Following his residency at Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus, he completed fellowships in hematology and oncology at Ohio State University Hospitals and bone marrow transplantation at UCLA.

Belinda Avalos, MD

Belinda Avalos, MDBelinda Avalos, MD, formerly of Ohio State University Hospital, joins the Institute’s cancer team as vice chair of the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders. Dr. Avalos, who specializes in hematology and bone marrow transplantation, will lead the Institute's efforts to develop collaborative research initiatives with scientists at The University of North Carolina-Charlotte, as well as focus on stem cell biology of blood disorders. Over the years, she has held numerous academic appointments and worked with many national organizations, such as the National Cancer Institute, on various projects and studies. Dr. Avalos received her medical degree from Ohio State University as a member of the Alpha Omega Medical Honor Society. She completed her residency at Ohio State University Hospital and a hematology fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, as well as a hematology-oncology fellowship at Ohio State University Hospital and UCLA.

Dr. Kim joins the faculty in July, with Drs. Avalos and Copelan following in September. The Institute welcomes these nationally ranked physicians and the vast knowledge and expertise they will bring to our patients.

Look for our summer issue for more information about additional Levine Cancer Institute recruitment efforts.

Welcome Our Newest Team Members

The Institute would also like to welcome Ram Ganapathi, PhD, FAAAS, and Marukh Ganapathi, PhD, who will join the pharmacology lab team in July. The team will drive an increased understanding of the science of oncology drug interactions and effectiveness.

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